Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Due Date

Hi.
We had a very lovely Christmas this year. A few days before it, my dad decided to drive up from Louisiana and hang out with us. It has been a really nice and relaxing visit.


We had dinner Christmas Eve and Christmas with the Farmer family (Mike, Kathryn, and Owen - plus Mike's parents and brother and his wife). Clark had fun playing with Owen and the adults had fun being adults.



Tom and I went to mass on Christmas morning and the next day (a Sunday) ALL BY OURSELVES while dad watched Clark. This may have been the very best gift of Clark's whole life. It was wonderful to sit and hold Tom's hand and relax and listen and pray and NOT have to think about keeping Clark quiet via toys/snacks/"look at the music" bla bla bla. It was wonderful.
Clark really enjoyed opening presents this year and caught onto removing the wrapping paper pretty quickly. It was precious to watch!




Many of the days dad has been here have been low lying days as I was sick for the first part of this trip, Clark was sick for the middle and now Tom is sick for the end. Are we suprised that dad started feeling ill yesterday morning? No. We are not.
Today is the expected due date of little baby Joy, and again, we are not suprised that s/he is not here yet. Dad was hoping he could be around for the birth - but I think he's realized by now it might not happen for another week or so. We have had some fun discussions about birth and medicine in this country and I got him to watch The Business of Being Born to prep him for the birth and why we've made the decisions we have about the childbirth process.

He accompanied me to our midwife appointment yesterday. We listened to the heartbeat, had a nice belly measurement (39 cm) and tried not to cough on her stuff. We found out that the baby is in an OP position, meaning back labor and a sunny-side up delivery. I'm hoping Joy turns, because that kind of labor is going to suck a lot. It will help me be a better childbirth teacher and doula one day, but still, I'd rather skip it if I can. Besides this information, it was a nice visit. Next Wednesday I'm looking forward to having a Non-Stress Test where you lay there and let the External Fetal Monitor measure baby movements. I'm also going to have an ultrasound called an AFI where they measure your amniotic fluid. We are determined NOT to find out the sex of the baby at this ultrasound, as we have waited this long, we'd rather experienc the "surpise" that other people say is "so great!" and we'll let everyone know what we think is better.

It would obviously be ideal to have the baby BEFORE this appointment, but we'll see if that happens. I've got a baby pool going over on my facebook page. It is in the notes section if you are looking for it.
It sounds like dad is leaving tomorrow morning, and I hope he gets home before he hits the worst day of the cold. It would be better to spend that day at home and in bed than driving 17 hours back to Louisiana.
Over all it has been a nice couple of weeks and we are looking forward to 1. being healthy and 2. having our baby soon. We are looking forward to 3. Mom's visit on January 7th and 5. our 5th wedding anniversary on that same day.
As you can see we have lots to look forward to and are happy about life right now. I feel so calm and relaxed, especially compared to how I felt on Clark's due date (read: STRESSSSSSSSSSSS) It has been a much nicer journey and I don't plan on being stressed at least until next week.
Wishing everyone the best, many prayers and lots of happiness in the new year.
Love, Veronica

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sideways blocks

Hi everyone. These were the first videos I took with my phone. I took them one way, have no clue how to turn them. In the future, I'll just try to take them from another angle. So, turn your head and watch Clark playing with blocks. He is using his favorite word of that day, "one". And every time he notices that I'm filming, he runs over to "see" what I'm doing.

He puts blocks into his dump truck.

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He carefully works on the tower of blocks.

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He knocks the tower over.

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Ball Pit

Clark and his friend Owen played in a fun indoor playground earlier this week. I took some video from my phone and we'll see how it comes across on the blog. It would be super sweet if I could load these straight from my phone like I do with pictures quite often, but since they are so short, they do load quickly from the computer.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Clark loves fun.

Clark loves reading. He could read almost the whole day. We are thrilled that this intellectual development has coincided with cold weather and the impending birth of Joy. Clark loves the slide. He is sitting on my lap as I type this shouting "weeee" and pointing at the picture of him on the slide.
He's having fun in the playground.

And eating some snacks in the playground. We think he might be allergic to wheat, so have eliminated it from his diet. In response, he started eating chicken, meat, and dairy. Amazing.

Clark loves the swings! Fr. RB came to visit and took these pictures of us in the park. We all went out to eat, but we didn't take any pictures of all 4 (5) of us. booo. next time we will have to do better!!! but, I admit, it is nice to actually BE in some of the blog photos!
blurry swinging.
blurry swinging.

before the pushing began. I think he is looking at some bigger kids swinging on the tire swing towards the left.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Look! I'm pregnant. Here's a picture of me that I took many weeks ago and posted to facebook. BUT, I finally got the picture loader to work here again, so I'm posting it for good record keeping. In this picture, I'm 32 1/2 weeks.
We had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving in Virginia with the Farmer family. Mike Farmer is Tom's best friend from High School, and he moved to Alexandria, Va in late August with his wonderfully amazing wife, Kathryn and their son (4 months younger than Clark) Owen. Owen and Clark are a hoot when they get together. They can play together quietly/actively for hours, just interrupting my and Kathryn's hours long coffee break for food, water, diaper changes, and naps. They are great together. =)
Kathryn and I are becoming fast friends, I have been to Alexandria every other week for the past few months for my midwife appointments. This week I go to every week! I'm 36 weeks! Hurrah!
The wonderful thing about this pregnancy is that everytime I think I'm going into labor (regular contractions, close together) I know that it doesn't matter and I should just ignore it until it turns into a big deal. It's already happened a few times, but I was so stressed with Clark because I always thought it was time. uggh. It's nice to be slightly more relaxed about it.
This weekend Tom and I finished our big "to do" list for the birth and got supplies ready in the van including changes of clothes for us all and birth plans printed. It is very satisfying to know that that part is done.
Another momentous occassion occured this weekend. Tom cut Clark's hair for the first time. Tom has been excited about this moment since we conceived little Gumbo three whole summers ago, and it finally arrived. Clark's hair wasn't too long, just hanging over his ears a little bit, and somewhat mudflappy in the back. So, ears and mudflap got trimmed, and we saved the tiny clippings in a plastic ziplock baggie. Clark was pretty good throughout the whole thing, and Tom thinks he looks more mature now. =)
Clark is pretty fabulous, but pretty exhausting at this age. He is really picking up on our words and actions, and there is NO hiding anything from this kid. His favorite word right now is "yellow" (lel-lo) and he uses it like Sophia used to say "ga", meaning, for everything. He will point at almost any object and say, "yellow" like it is a question, a command, and a noun all in one. I almost regret teaching him the word, because it isn't a noun, a command or a question!
He also likes saying "two". He does it really cute by scrunching up his shoulders and putting up one finger by his nose as if to say, "one more please, look how cute I am, you know you want me to have two." He mostly preforms this function for asking for more vitamins in the morning, and who can blame him when they look and taste like candy (gummy bears).
He is finally broadening his eating repertoir, which is a relief. Today he ate mostly fruits, but that's a good thing in my opinion. He is starting to try more meats, including the ever detested chicken. He has had chicken, turkey and steak this week. He also likes asparagus. He will eat the cheese off of anything - pizza and quesadilla. He can say "quesadilla" and its super cute. He says it like, "sisa de ya". It is one of my favorite things for him to say along with "cocadoodle doo" which he says with his head bobbing right and left and mostly sounds like, "do do do!" it is very triumphant.
We are all tired, but going to spend the next (up to 6) weeks, resting and cuddling and hanging out. We have very few plans that we feel like implementing, and will just relax as 3 before we meet the whirlwind of 4.
We wish all of you a very blessed advent. We will feel the expectancy in a new and exciting way this year, and we look forward to the advent of our own little Joy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some pictures from Oct-Nov

a family picture as we wait for breakfast!





The Greenwell Men

Saturday, November 6, 2010

what we did in October and the start of Nov.

We realize we've pretty much dropped the ball on updating this lately, and we are sorry. Also, something is screwy with the picture loader on blogspot so we aren't able to post photos right now. I did include a video though. It's at the bottom if you don't feel like reading all of this update.

I was sick for the last part of Sept and early part of October, then I started feeling better and started taking care of things I had let slip during that time, as well as giving Tom a break. Tom had been running the house, taking care of Clark and letting me rest whenever he wasn't at work working. Thank God for him. =)

We had a very nice visit with Tom's parents at the end of October. They are in Israel right now, and we were their stopover point before leaving the US.

We went up to Baltimore one day and saw Ft. McHenry - the fort that got attacked and from which attach Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. It was a very patriotic and moving trip. I think we were all surpised at how American it made us feel, especially after we've done so many other USA things living near DC. This is one place to go to if you ever think that America might suck, cause its definitely makes you love your country.

We hung out at the house quite a bit and relaxed, which is always the best type of vacation in my opinion! For Halloween night, Clark was a little dragon. He LOVED trick-or-treating. He loves outside, he loves taking walks, he loves knocking on doors. All of the things combined with little old ladies and our sweet neighbors bending over and offering Clark a bowl full of pretty colored thingies resulted in a JOYOUS CLARK. He grabbed candy by the handsful and went back for more - to the utter delight of our neighbors. He really liked seeing the other kids dressed up and could have stayed up all night watching them. He also could have stayed up all night from all of the sugar he ate - as we did let him taste the delicious treasures he brought home for mommy and daddy to eat. The kid loves candy, as Tom's mom said, "He's no dummy."

In other news we just found out our insurance won't cover a homebirth, so we may have our baby at the birthcenter in Alexandria, VA where Andrea GG had Sophia almost 3 years ago! We considered switching providers and having Joy in the nearby hospital, but I really don't like the idea of it. The last thing we Greenwells need is a toddler, a newborn, a tired new mommy, and a Tom with C-diff, or MRSA or something like that. He's just too delicate to be exposed to hyper-antibiotic-resistant hosptial germs. We can switch our insurance through open enrollment @ Tom's work, but it will only go into effect on January 1, 2011. The new insurance should cover a home birth, so we are praying that Joy will come late (as Clark did) and join us in 2011.

The other big thing that's going on here is the Bradley Method is undergoing sort of a coup and another organization may begin certifying teachers to teach the same philosophy of birth under a different name. The new organization seems to be very responsive to the suggestions of new teachers and willing to do things that the older organization won't in order to reach as many mothers and families as possible with the positive message of natural childbirth. I may switch to the new organization, but I'm waiting to see what will happen as things with the new organization are made more clear in the coming weeks.

For those of you who love the Bradley Method, just know that there may be two certifying organizations teaching the same/similar thing, but organized and run differently. If anything it seems the new organization will have better looking materials. They are also saying they are going to improve the quality of scientific evidence referenced in classes and with the method in order to get more of the medical community on board with the safety that is found in reducing unneccessary interventions. So it looks like good things are coming out of the new group, but again, I'm going to wait and see.

I won't be teaching again until at least March and am looking forward to getting a (or more) doula client next summer/fall. I also have an offer to teach Childbirth at a local hospital. It would be a "hospital compliance" course but they would also permit me to teach a natural childbirth class (not a full Bradley course). It would be good because they would recruit students and I would show up and teach and get paid - nice and easy.

What else? Tom went to a retreat this Saturday morning and he said he had a wonderful time. I'll be working on a youth group retreat in two weekends and am spending some evenings going to meetings to prep for it. I'm the creative coordinator or something like that. I'm in charge of music, decorations and coming up with ideas for this "reverse" video we are making (look up "reverse" videos on youtube).

Tom is going to San Diego next week and I'm going to be alllllll allllloooooonnnnnneee for 6 whole days. Please pray for me that I'm a good mommy, cause Tom has always come home at the end of the day to give me a break. Maybe I should hire a babysitter one afternoon just to have some private time! eek!

Finally, Clark continues to be the light of our life and he is super awesome. Tom is a super awesome dad, and made a fun ride for him with the laundry basket. Here is a video.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall is here!


I was raking leaves a few weeks ago, and Clark joined in on the fun. What he likes best is walking thru the leaf piles, but I got him to sit in this one! More pictures of the wondrous trees in our neighborhood soon!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clark explains to me that the shell noodles look like little hats. :-)

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clark likes trucks and cars....

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Thanks Ms. Romona!!


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Good Saturday Part 2

Clark and Veronica waiting in the car while I got the rockets ready. Clark loves music!
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Pretty Good 1st Saturday of October

Despite me being on antibiotics and Veronica having a bad cough/cold today, we ended up having a pretty good day. I have gotten back into model rocketry since high school and college, and planned on launching some rockets today. In the morning, we launched some rockets with Veronica, Clark, and our neighbor friends Dan and Eva. It worked out pretty well with a clear day and low winds, and we had a secondary launch site that worked out for low altitude launches. Our primary choice was a nice park but there were tents set up there and a big field was fenced off, so we decided to try a high school nearby. After a nap, we did some grocery shopping, then in the evening Veronica and I had dinner and mini-golf. It was a great day! Here are some videos of the rocket launches:
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And another one of a smaller rocket that we almost lost:
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Finally, this is the cutest rocket launch video where Clark presses the ignition key (at T-minus negative 2) and then claps:
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicken bread!

Look mom! I made Chicken Bread all by myself with no receipe! To all those non-Averills out there Chicken bread is homemade bread stuffed with a mixture of chicken, pasta sauce and motzerella! It is delicious when mom makes it, hopefully will be this time too. I had some extra dough so I added rosemary and olive oil for a special treat!
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Chosing battles

After saying, " no we can't go outside, it's raining" all week, I finally gave in. I got his raincoat and showed him how to use an umbrella. We went outside, he was timid at first, listening to the rain drops from inside the umbrella. Then he grew in confidence and headed down the driveway. Then! He found the river flowing in the gutter and took off, in it. He walked down the gutter. After we rounded the corner, gutters disappeared. Don't worry, he found and splashed in every puddle along the way.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cutest Thing -TCT

Tom and I have been having a nightly conversation about "The Cutest Thing" that Clark did that day. While these stories are usually really short, they are the darling type of memories we like to keep. I thought that maybe I could start sharing The Cutest Thing on the blog in just a few sentences with you so that you too can benefit from our darling son.

Today I went to a meeting and Clark came along. As we were leaving, Clark found a muffin and started eating it. I let him take the muffin with him into the car seat. He ate the muffin while we slowly moved through traffic. I didn't realize the muffin was almost gone, but Clark let me know. He threw the muffin wrapper over my chair (he sits right behind me). It hit me in the back of the head and splattered muffin bits all over the car. I was on the phone at the time, and said, "CLARK! NO! THATS VERY NAUGHTY!!!" Tom (who I was talking to) wanted to know what happened, so I told him. We both laughed, because it was pretty funny, although very very naughty.

Later in the same car ride, I gave Clark a book to read, because he kept demaning more food and I didn't have any. He was happy to receive the book, but started looking out of the window. A few minutes later, I looked back to see how he was doing. He had been gazing out of the window, but saw me check on him. He quickly buried his face in the book like he thought he was supposed to be reading and not looking out. I laughed, he looked up and smiled his sneaky grin. That was the cutest thing... so far.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sillies

I've got two very silly sillies in my house. Clark is quite the mimicker lately. Here Tom and Clark do some pelvic rocks to get ready for to have their babies.


Inspired by a recent visit to the Houston Averills, Tom has taken to making hats for Clark out of food boxes. This fuzzy picture shows Clark as "Pizza Box Head". Clark played with the box for a week, repeatedly bring it to me to put on his head.
Another gift fromt the Houston Averills was a carseat toy - a Lion, wearing board shorts who makes music. Clark LOVES the music and started dancing to it. We couldn't help but get it on video for all eternity. This video is cute.
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But this video is cuter. You only need to watch the first half - it gets boring after tom says, "put it on the blog" I was just hoping that Clark would come back and dance again instead of throwing the lion around the room.


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By the time I shot this, Clark was more interested in the camera - but it does highlight his Hellen Keller speech, and the lion. and how he is annoyed that I won't give him the camera. and how he fell and busted his lip earlier, and how Tom doesn't want me to film him. oh well!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

25 weeks


Hey! Here I am 25 weeks along. I feel massive, but when I look at the photo I think, "thats not as big as I feel" oh well. Baby Joy is pretty happy in there and getting stronger every day. I get lots of punches and kicks. Its a fun time.

Clark is a tremendous cutie. see? He loves being outside, pens, cups and anything else he can get his hands on! He says "hel-lo" "bye bye" and "thank you" at the appropriate times, with mostly no promting. He can also say some other words like Cracker, make animals noises, and is picking up new sounds every day. Yesterday we walked in Rock Creek and I was trying to get him to say "river" and he sounded like Hellen Keller when he responded, "roh roh" but we get the idea, and its beyond the "ga ga" he makes for most other words he can't sound out.


Here are Clark and Bernadette checking out the turtle at the nature center. I've finished watching Bernadette and she's in daycare now. Lauren and I hope we can still get together once a week or so. As I type this, Clark is pointing at Bernadette and saying "Ba dat" he's excited to see her, but doesn't realize she wont be coming today.
Clark is a sneaky boy and often does things we think are really funny, such as hide things under the sink, or line up favorite toys at the door in the hopes that we might let him outside. Here he is looking sneaky with his alphabet fridge thing. He has some blue makeup on his eye from a fun trip to the mall and the makeup store Sephora where he and Beradette kept reaching for the makeup samples. The one they got their fingers in was this crazy blue.








Thursday, September 16, 2010

Music at the park

We're at Cabin John Park today. Clark made some music by banging a stick on a bell. Its funny cause he wa kind of afraid of it.
I had a midwife appointment yesterday and I'm still pregnant, and getting pregnanter. I'm at about 25 weeks now, ending m 2nd trimester. I'm so happy with the way this pregnancy is going. I feel huge, but know I will laugh at that statement in 2 months.
My sister Katie will be having her little girl anyday now. Its very exciting that our family is getting bigger!
I just signed Clark up for swim lessons, so we'll be going to the pool weekly until mid- December. I got a really cute maternity swimsuit :-). We went to the pool this week. I swam laps with Clark perched on my tummy for the backstroke and him in the crook of my arm and sholder for side stroke. It was fun, but Mr skinny got cold fast.
Speaking of Mr skinny, at his 18 month checkup he was back in 25th percentile for weight! Yay! We really like our pediatrician, which is a huge blessing. We hope he's on duty when Joy comes so he gets to see him/her right away.
That's all for now! Love, V
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Juliana Theory

Tom, Veronica and Brett Detar, lead singer and guitar for The Juliana Theory. We also met all of the band and told them Thank You for being the soundtrack to our relationship. Their songs, "Summer in Bethany" and "Top of the World" and "baby" and "Jewel to Sparkle" in addition to so many more have been playing in the background, either over speakers or in our heads in so many defining moments in our life. Our early courtship (Summer...) Our engagement (Top of the world) our wedding dance (top of the world) and now lullabies for our baby (Summer...). Thanks TJT and we look forward to hearing the new bands coming out of this group: Vesta and Brett Detar solo.
I thought Joy would be kicking along with the music, but s/he went right to sleep. This kid will be perfect for our noisy, music filled household. Congrats to Joy for attending his/her first concert! The Juliana Theory reunion tour final show ever: Emotion is Still Dead.
(Clark's first concert- attended at about the same gestational age- was Jimmy Eat World and Paramour @ American University).
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

At the Altar Bar awaiting the show!

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Guess where we are!?!

We're in Pittsburg- and by we I mean Tom, Veronica and Joy. We've left Clark with a trusted friend for the night. This is our first overnight trip without him. We're going to a concert tonight! Yay!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

18 months

Can you believe only a year and a half ago, God sent us this wonderfully amazing gift?
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latest happenings

A few cool things have happened in the last couple of weeks, so I'll tell you about them.
1. I wrote an email to a community list serve asking if anyone would stand behind me regarding an issue I had with our local parks. The issues were: at one park, parents had to go down a very steep hill to get to the park, and then back up again to get out. It was slippery in the morning when the ground was dewey, and very difficult to do if you had a double stroller, and kids, and baggage. It was hard enough with one kid! The other issue was that the other local park had no sidewalk access to it, so a kid of walking age would have to walk in the street.
I just emailed the group to see if anyone else cared about this, before approaching the city about it. However, someone from the group forwarded my email to the city. I had city personnel emailing and calling me that afternoon. The very next day, I met with some managers from recreation and parks department. They heard my concerns, saw the ludicrious hill that I was talking about, and agreed that something needed to be done. So right now, they are doing some measurements, and looking into pre-fabricated ramps to see if they can't get some respite for poor caregivers out there who want to bring their kids to the park! Its very exciting. I hope they call it the "Veronica Greenwell cares about her community Ramp!" After they get info on cost of the ramp, then they'll present to the mayor and get a timeline for completion! It is very, very exciting!!! =)

2. This weekend I spent 10 whole hours away from Clark on both Saturday and Sunday. This was our longest separation to date. The reason was to attend a training by the organization DONA, Doulas of North America. I was trained to become a doula! A Doula is a labor support person who helps a mom and her partner through labor. I was really taking it to get more info to help the parents who take my Bradley classes, but now I want to attend births. I may have to wait a year or so, until baby Joy is big enough to not have me at her/his beck and call. But its something I am really looking forward to! I may offer my services to the parents in my current class, they will be giving birth in October.

3. Tom has been working on our garden and its beautiful. =)

4. Clark is learning a new word about every other day. This weekend, while I was gone, Tom taught him to say "spoon" and now when asked what a rooster says, he replies, "cock-a" so its an excellent start! He can follow some directions such as, "go get your shoes" and he'll bring a pair of his shoes to put on. He can "go get mommy's shoes" and he'll bring me two shoes, sometimes mine, sometimes Toms, but usually a pair. We are working on "get mommy's blue shoes" to get him to bring my sneekers. He knows that if he brings shoes, he might get to go outside. Its one way he tells us he wants to go out there. He also knows that we put bug lotion on him before going outside, so now he will bring shoes and point at the lotion indicating OUTSIDE!!!
He has been putting himself to sleep by singing and talking in his crib, its pretty cute. We have been giving him lots of balloons lately - they just happen to have them wherever we are shopping. Balloons are his favorite thing right now. So one day he played with the balloon all day long. When I put him to bed that night, I heard him exclaiming, "babooo, baboooo" (balloon, balloon). It was so cute.
He's simply a wonderful kid, he's got tons of energy which we burn off on walks, in parks, and mostly outside. I'm kind of dreading keeping him indoors this winter - but with a newborn, it will just have to be his new reality. I'm sure we'll make some outings, but not nearly as many as we have been. We'll have to limit museum visits and metro rides to reduce risk of RSV to Joy.

I'm enjoying this pregnancy and not worrying, whining or freaking out as I did last time. It is really nice. I'm looking forward to the third trimester and giving birth at one point. We just got mom's plane ticket out for January 7th and look forward to seeing her then!

The end!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gift idea

Tom and I were watching TV tonight, we got up and took a break. I looked at our sofa and realized how truely uncomfortable it must be. We both mde it more comfy with pillows, but I just didn't realize how much.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cookies, pregnancy, MoCo Fair.

I miss the days when I wrote fun stories and thoughtful posts here. I think those days are over, and now this blog is a picture purge for me (and you). I have written some really nice blogs in my head about motherhood, our family, Clark being an older sibling, our new baby Joy being a second born, going to the fair, and a nice one on nature walks. When I sit down, however, I want to load photos as fast as possible and then go take a nap. We are on one nap per day and I need that one to make it through the afternoon!

So I'm posting a smorgasboard of photos here.

Clark and I made some cookies. He is a pretty good helper, although here, he is just helping to clean the spoon. He can stir with lots of supervision and pour things into the bowl. He also wants to eat raw cookie dough, which we keep to a minimum.


I'm pregnant. I'm almost 23 weeks, which means I'm almost in the 3rd trimester. Holy cow. It has gone so quickly and has been so painless compared to the pregnancy with Gumbo. I hardly feel like complaining - which I'm sure makes these posts better to read. I feel the baby kick every day, usually in the evening after dinner and in bed. It is so sweet. My hips aren't driving me crazy yet, but I have some pain in my sacrum. I got a deep tissue massage this week - and since then I've been having some strong Braxton-Hicks contractions. Next time, I'll stick to sweedish prenatal massaging - but DEEP TISSUE WAS AWESOME! and exactly what I needed to get rid of every bit of back tension I've ever had ever.


Clark, Tom and I went to the Montgomery County Fair this past week. We saw tons of farm animals, balloons, bees, plants, vegetables, and the DEMOLITION DERBY! It was so much fun to watch the cars smashing into eachother. Next year they are doing mini-vans, so we are coming back. We might have to do monster truck rally night too!



In the photos, Clark is just in his diaper because he had some snowball. The day before we had had one and he got the juice all over the stroller. Then the stroller got swarmed by bees. This day, I let him eat the sweet delicious icy concoction. Then, I stripped him naked, washed the stroller, rinsed his clothes in the bathroom sink with soap, and made sure he wasn't sticky. I never bring extra clothes with me, and it was really hot, so we let him play in his diaper. We stayed at the fair very late that night, and Clark stayed up till 10pm! He fell asleep within one minute of getting in the car!


We also saw some "Freak" animals at the fair. They live in a pasture 8 months of the year, and the other 4 tour fairs. Here is a 5 legged sheep. I love sheep. I wish we could have a pet sheep, even a 5 legged one. They are so sweet when they BAAAA at you. Clark loves them too.







Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trolley from 1800's.

It ran in DC.
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Trolley museum!

We went to the Capitol Trolley museum today! This is from our trolley ride. We also saw a cute film, trolley diaorama, and learned some stuff. Tom really loves trains and trollies, so he's really fun to go with to these kind of places.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

I picked my salad 20 minutes ago. Yum!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer in review.

This has been a fun and summer with tons of travel. We've been to Ft. Lauderdale,Fl for a Tom work conference, San Francisco and Wine Country for Ray(Tom's older brother)'s wedding, two weeks later to New Orleans/Lacombe, La for my 10 year High School reunion, San Diego, Ca for a week for a Tom conference (in Long Beach) and some Tom NEI (National Eye Institute) work in SD, then a few days later to Houston, Tx to see my brother and family, to New Orleans again for a wedding out in "northern" Louisiana (Bunkie) and finally to Nashville for a baby shower of my dear friend, Maria.

Summer travel is now over.

I've been babysitting Bernadette in between travel assignments and will continue to watch her for a few more months. I'm hoping I can watch her until the Christmas holiday time, when I'll be about 38 weeks pregnant.

This pregnancy is going very well. I am amazed at the difference between my pregnancy with "Joy" and my pregnancy with "Gumbo". I think a huge part of the difference is the work situation. I love staying home with Clark, teaching the Bradley Method, and babysitting a few days a wekk. I am doing things I love with people I care about. Chemonics was not the same story. I was constantly stressed at work, and took it out on the pregnancy. I guess it makes sense because people always ask, "how are you feeling" and I said, "overwhelmed, emotional, stressed, exhausted." but it wasn't because of Gumbo, it was because of Chemonics. I'm staying a lot healthier this time around too. I'm eating very well and am 23 pounds lighter right now than I was when I was 20 weeks along with Gumbo. I feel like I have lots of energy most days. I exercise, and feel good doing it.

It is amazing. If this pregnancy was like Gumbo's it might have been the last, but so far its not, and I am thankful!

We had our 20 week ultrasound last Friday and the baby is in there, just one, and baby looks great. We don't know the sex because baby's legs were close together and then crossed. So, this is an unknown baby. I'm a fan of suprises, but would have liked to be suprised last Friday - not 22 weeks from now. Alas, Tom and I will learn the wonder of being suprised.

Clark is a wonder of a child. He learns a new word or thing about every other day. Today's discovery is "boo-boo". I hit my knee on the baby gate and have a gash and a bruise. He has been inspecting it, and comparing it to his own boo-boo, one he got while running on the sidewalk, and then falling. Two days ago he learned the sign for "diaper change"

He really pays attention to things and is interested in checking everything out. He was carefully watching the midwife take my blood pressure today, and even squatted down, and leaned in to get a closer look. This morning we took a walk in Rock Creek Park. There is a grated bridge over the creek. Clark spent 10-15 minutes walking back and forth over it, hitting it with a stick to make noise and watching the water move. I think he's got a lot of engineer in him. =)

His biggest thing lately is climbing. We'll find that he's climbed onto kitchen chairs (we've gotten him to stop and not climb on the table), a weight bench, or into the stroller. He is using his baby toys as steps and we might walk into the computer room to see him standing on his piano and clinging to the bookshelf. It is a pretty scary time, but he is surving falls, and his long bones know how to make fresh blood if any leaks out of his face or knees. =)

We are cleaning out our guest room to make it a guest/office room. Its incredible the stuff we have accumulated. Sometimes we wonder, "are we horders? why do we have so many things?" Freecycle has people begging for our stuff, and some things are leaving via Craigslist or the trash. We almost cleaned that room out and are a month away from moving the office stuff into the guest room. It will take us about a month to do that, then I guess we'll make the blue office into Clark's new room. I'm not really ready for him to move downstairs, so maybe it will be a playroom for a little while. I'll be happy to get his toys out of the living room and confined into their own special downstairs place (especially as it gets colder and the porch gets less usable).

Tom is pretty good. He thought he might be getting c-diff again, but it was some other bug that he fought well and defeated. He is doing his best to stay healthy and as part of it we have hired some people to come clean our house - dusting and de-molding and finding things we didn't know existed to clean. It is a luxury and a health issue, but we are so glad. They have come once already and will be back in a few weeks.

Tom really enjoys his job and the difference between his current situation and where he was when Clark was born is incredible. It is much better. He just got promoted, which helps pay for the cleaning people and for our new baby expenses. =)

We are pretty happy and having a good life. We're doing our best to be loving people to each other and to the world. It was lovely to see all of our immediate families this summer and feel it will be a while before we can make that sort of mega tripping again.

We hope you are doing well!
Love, V

Monday, August 9, 2010

Clark was just out joy riding with the girls.

This is our next door neighbor, Juliana, and her cousin.
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Wading pool and watermelon

Could it be a more perfect moment?
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

so we went on some trips.

I'm so glad I already wrote about our San Diego trip. I couldn't find the files on our new computer of the photos I took on the trip, and I can't even remember back that far at this point!!! AHH!!!

So the past month, the whole summer infact, has been a whirlwind. I don't even remember half of the things that we've been up to.

I know we went to Houston to visit my brother, his wife Katie, and his kids, Matt, Kenzie and baby girl (coming in September/October).



I remember it being a really fun, relaxing and rainy (there was a hurricane nearby) trip. We stayed indoors and played a really fun game called Word Thief. Its like poker and scrabble, except that its not like either of those games at all. We bought fireworks and set them off in the street after a fun BBQ. Clark slept right through them and was a really good boy.
Matt and Kenzie are totally awesome kids and had fun playing with Clark.


Clark enjoyed them, the dog, Toby, their baby piano and playing in the backyard's sandbox. Clark is crazy about outside and neither the Texas sun, nor rain, thwarted his efforts. What else did we do? We went to the mall one day when it wouldn't stop raining, and when it did stop raining and get to over 110 degrees we decided to go for a little hike in the arboretum and then have a picnic. It was hot, I saw a red tailed hawk, and then Clark got attacked by fire ants. It was very eventful.

At some point we flew from Houston to New Orleans, and the flight was great because Tom took Clark on HIS flight, so I had an hour by myself on the airplane with no baby and I finished a book. It was AWESOME!

In Louisiana I'm sure we did some things. I'll remember some of them here for you.

We met up with my Aunt Cindi, and my cousins, and their kids. My cousin Courtney had a new addition since last year, Chloe, and I'm glad we got to meet her.
Here is Clark with Chloe. (great shot of Chloe, right? I know, next time I'll do a better job!)
Me and my cousin, Courtney!

Courtney's first big girl, Annazelle.
Aunt Cindi with my cousins Naomi and Marissa.

We drove out to Bunkie for a wedding. I took about 4 pictures of the whole thing because I was having too much fun to think about caputring the memories for old times sakes. Here is one of the photos I took. Its Liz Singreen, Clark and Tom outside of the Church.



The story of how we got home from the airport and how Louisiana has too much water. We really love Louisiana cause its so beautiful and relaxing. Tom was complaining because there was too much water. I said, "how can you complain about too much water??!?! you are from San Diego, the desert, with no water!!!" and he said, "remember when we flew in and your mom said we couldn't get home because the street was flooded, and we had to park the car down the street, change cars to the truck, move our luggage and take the truck through the flood waters home?" and I said, "yeah, ok, maybe we have a lot of water, but its not always flooded!" but a lot of the time, it is.


We went into New Orleans two nights. One was for Taylor's Bachelorette party. We ate at Mothers and Cafe Du Monde, then Tom and I, had to go home since Clark didn't know we were at a party and he would be waking up bright and early like always, and my mom was going to work, so we had to look after him.


The other night we had dinner with Steve and Tracy at La Madeleine on the Riverbend. Maybe if we ever move back to NOLA (which we never will), we can live in the Riverbend... or Madisionville (less flooding, not a bowl...)


The rest of our time (that I can remember) we spent relaxing on the porch, in the pool on mom and dad's deck, or eating snowballs. It was a supremly excellent trip. I could move back almost anytime (hint, hint).
I'm glad I got to see my whole Averill family this summer, it might be a while before we travel again.